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Philip Brown

Posted June 13, 2014 in Des Moines West, Obituaries

August 1, 1928 – June 12, 2014

Philip Brown

Philip Brown

Philip Ankeny Brown died on June 12, 2014. He was born in Des Moines on August 1, 1928. His parents were Robert Ankeny Brown and Greta Weitz Brown. He had one brother, Ernest Weitz Brown, who died in December of last year. He married Patricia Craemer of Cedar Rapids in 1956. Pat died in 2011.

He leaves four children and seven grandchildren – Philip Craemer Brown with Christina Strupinska Brown and son Nicholas; Peter Ankeny Brown with Lisa Holderness Brown and their children, Emma and Parker; Pamela Brown Gordon with Kevin Gordon and their children, Evan and Charlotte; and Susan Hilary Brown with Arthur Orduña and their children, Miles and Eliza.

Phil was graduated by Roosevelt High School and Grinnell College. He served in the U. S. Army in Japan and Korea during the Korean Conflict, assigned to an intelligence unit.

He spent most of his working years in Des Moines with Inter-State Assurance, an insurance company founded by his grandfather. He was president and chairman for many years. After Inter-State was acquired, he became interested in public policy mediation and worked first with the Iowa Peace Institute and later as an independent mediator. When he and Pat moved to Okoboji he continued his mediation practice and also became a reporter and staff writer for the Dickinson County News.

Phil and Pat were a good match. They shared a deep interest in the art and culture of the American Southwest, and spent their lives acquiring art and making friends with artists, dealers, and other collectors. They also shared similar views in politics (liberal), organized religion (skeptical) and humor (off-color). Their happy marriage was their greatest legacy.

Phil was devoted to the arts. He was a poet, painter and sculptor. He was involved in many arts organizations over the years, and was a big fan of the Des Moines Symphony.

In all, his life was a happy and long compendium of family, business, art, poetry, music, travel and friends, all of which formed a thoroughly fulfilling life.

No services are planned. Memorial contributions may be made to the Des Moines Symphony or Des Moines Art Center.

This was one of his favorite poems:

Crossing the Bar
(Alfred Lord Tennyson 1819)

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

Phil crossed the bar on June 12, 2014 at 85 years and followed his wife to their own evening star at Eriamus RA 2h54md-04º, at which friends are welcome.

Arrangements by Iles Dunn’s Chapel

Information provided by:
Iles Funeral Homes
Dunn’s Chapel
2121 Grand Ave
Des Moines, IA 50312

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